Let’s get something straight.
Gather around, let’s tell you of a story, of a young league trying to develop a rivilary in Los Angeles, and bring in the Mexican demographic. This was in 2005. This should be fun. First of all, Major League Soccer has always had a club in LA, a highly successful organization named the Galaxy. As a side note, I’m still not convinced they didn’t attempt to name that after the old New York Cosmos. So what does the league do? Go and bring in Chivas USA, a satelite club of Chivas in Mexico.
So, the orginal goal was to bring in Chivas, get the Mexican demographic, and a big name club into the league. What did they find out? First of all, you needed to field a competent team, and the fans will flock. And secondly, you need managers they can follow. What did the Chivas organization do? None of that, in fact they wrote the book on mismanagement and controversy. They changed managers like most people change socks, ran though players like they were playing Football Manager. Oh and the Mexican fans? They didn’t show up in droves, because Club América is the best club in Mexico, not their bitter rivials in Chivas. So in a way the league completely misjudged, or didn’t care. Oh and the masses whom were to flock to the matches? They never came, Chivas average attendance has been less than some lower league clubs in America. And most lower league clubs, play at high schools, or colleges. Think of that.
They did have a couple coaches who were worth it, former USA and Eygpt National Team Manager Bob Bradley, and MLS legend Preki. Outside of that, many former assistant managers and Ed Chelis, a very outspoken and colorful character. A club can’t gain any momentum, if they are turning players over all the time, most people who play Football Manager could tell you that. But their owner at the time Jose Vagara, didn’t really care about the franchise, in the nine years he had the club, he made TWO Trips to LA. He tried to only hire Mexican employees, and never had a television contract to broadcast their games.
On February 20th, 2014 the league bought out Vagara, and took control of the team with the intent to sell them on, i.e. make a profit. This year, they’ve had on a loan from Chivas in Mexico, a wonderful young player named Cubo Torres, who has set the league on fire, and brought more people in to watch Chivas. In the last month, leaks and whispers around the league have been saying that when the club is sold that the club will be put on hiatus for at least two years while they find a new stadium.
This is the same league, that brought in New York City FC, (combination ownership of NY Yankeees, and Manchester City) to capture the NYC market, even though the New York Redbull are an original club. This new club, is playing in a baseball stadium for at least three years we think. So NYCFC, err Moneybags, err Financial Fairplay FC, can play in a baseball stadium. Or how about Orlando City Sc, who are playing in the old Joe Robbie Stadium until their is built? That’s right, say one thing and do something different.
So the fans of the league are pretty angry at this, because they are losing their club. No supporter group should lose their team because of outside forces, like a league. And this isn’t the first time the league has done this to a fanbase, look at Miami Fusion, and Tampa Mutiny. The league doesn’t like to tip its hand at anything, and commissioner big ears, is becoming the butt of many jokes, even though he’s done a lot of good for the sport.
How does the league explain this to the fans, if the league bothers to explain it? Just say, oops, now go support LA Galaxy. They went as far as promoting a match for the Galaxy on the Chivas twitter account. Or how do they explain to one of their employees who is an editor on their website, who runs a very great blog on the club? They won’t because, it’s theirs, and they don’t care for their fans.
How are the players going to be distributed throughout the league? Dispersal draft? Blind draw? Ring around the rosy? Or Whack a mole? No one knows, because the rules for player entry into the league are written in invisible ink, if they are written down at all. Will the players get free reign to pick their clubs? No one knows.